Monday, July 30, 2012

Save Your Scraps: Scrap Yarn Crochet Ideas!

I've been saving all the little scraps of yarn I make since I've started crocheting. I have a bin at the bottom of my yarn storage (see pics of my stash here!), and I just toss them in there when I finish a project, usually to be forgotten about.. Until now!
Dun Dun Dun!!! That's my scrap 'bucket'. I had already started tying it up and raveling it into a ball before I took the pic, but there is still a ton of yarn left!

I recently joined CrochetTalk, a blog for crocheters, and after seeing a sticky about what to do with scrap yarn, it inspired me to finally pull my pile out and get to work.

My plan is to make it into one big ball, and then crochet either a rug or blanket out of it. It doesn't matter what it looks like, because I know I'll enjoy it knowing it was made from yarn that would have originally been thrown away! 

So what about you? Do you keep your scraps? And if you do, when was the last time you took them out and made something? There are tons of patterns that use the smallest bits of yarn! Here's a few unique ideas to get you started!

Here you will find a pattern for cotton facial scrubbies! Perfect for washing your face and getting your face fresh and clean!

Or how about This wine glass coaster? Never lose your wine glass again by making it stand out from the others. Make a bunch of different colors so everyone can have one!

How about an adorable hair bow? This can be used in your hair, tied to a pets collar, pinned to the front of your sons shirt, or put it on a bag! Requires just a tiny bit of yarn and can be made in lots of fun colors!

A crochet rose is nice too! Put it on a hat, bag, headband, or just give it to someone special!!

Have any more ideas for some great scrap yarn usage? Post a comment below!!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Book/Laptop Bag Pattern!

I'm so excited to finally have a free pattern to share with you all, written by yours truly! This bag is great. Its super easy to make, but the 'shell stitch' makes it look fancy. (; This bag uses all simple stitches, so if you know the basics (single crochet, double crochet, chain) you should be good!

In this pattern you work in rows, then sew the bag together by folding it in half. Then you finish by crocheting the handle. Sometimes as a beginner I found it hard to work in rounds, so I seem to find this much easier than some other patterns I've come across. I hope you do too!

*This is my FIRST pattern ever! So please comment with any questions or mistakes I might have made. And forgive me if I do (:*

Worsted Weight Yarn
Size J(6mm) Crochet Hook
2 Skeins worsted weight yarn (I used Red Heart and Loops & Threads Impeccable: True Grey)

Special Terms 
Ch- Chain
Sp- Space
SC- Single Crochet
DC- Double Crochet
Shell Stitch- 3 DC in space indicated

With Main Color (Blue) Ch 71 (Or the width you want your bag to be x 2)

Row 1: SC in second CH from hook and in each CH down.
Row 2: CH 3, Turn, DC In each SC down.
Row 3: CH 3, Turn, DC in same sp as ch *Sk 2 SC, Shell in next sp* Repeat between ** down the row. CH 3.
Row 4-6: Turn, DC in same sp as ch. Shell in each sp between shell in previous row. Shell in last st. CH3 Change to color B (Grey) in last stitch.
Row 7: With color B (grey) DC in each stitch down. Change to color A in last stitch.
Row 8-12: Repeat row 4. Change to color B in last stitch.
Row 13: Repeat row 7. Change to color A in last stitch.
Row 14-18: Repeat row 4. Change to color B in last stitch.
Row 19: Repeat row 7. Change to color A in last stitch.
Row 20-24: Repeat row 4. Change to color B in last stitch. Do NOT fasten off!
Your bag should measure approximately 14 inches, but DON'T freak out if it doesn't! If you chained more or less at the beginning your bag will vary in size.

Weave in your ends, then sew up the bottom and side of the bag using a long piece of yarn and a tapestry needle.


Ch1, SC around bag evenly so you have 72 SC. Join to beginning SC with a sl st. Repeat 1 more time.
Sl St 8, Chain however long you want your handle to be (just make sure you count how many so your handles are the same length!). SC into the 20th stitch from where you started your CH. SC 16, CH however long your other handle was, SC into the 20th stitch from your ch. SC to end of round. Slip stitch to first chain.
Ch1, SC around. Sl st to first SC.
Repeat previous row.
Fasten off and weave in ends.

You can repeat the last row one or two times more if you like thicker handles. Be aware if you use acrylic yarn (like i did) your bag WILL stretch. So if you're planning on lugging some heavy books around, or like me, use your bag to carry EVERYTHING, use cotton yarn. It doesn't stretch as much, so your bag will hold its shape better!

This bag is perfect for a laptop or using for books. Or, like I do, you could use it as a diaper bag! Here I am sporting the first bag I made. (Why yes, I am carrying around yarn in there!)

Don't forget to tell me what you think when you're done. I love to see finished projects! 

Keep an eye out for one of these bags in my Etsy shop. I only need one, so chances are the other will be up for grabs! 

If you have any questions at all, please ASK! I'm more than happy to help you. Enjoy the pattern!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Favorite Beginner Patterns

Hello there again! Sorry I've been kind of slow with posting this week! The weather has been perfect, so Jude and I are taking advantage and playing a lot outside! He also just learned how to crawl, so you can imagine how busy I am now with my little trouble maker! 
So because of that I STILL haven't finished that pattern of the bag I made. But I assure you that I will have it posted tomorrow!

Have you been following my blog, and wanting to make something, but doubt your abilities? That's why I've decided to compile a list of my favorite EASY crochet patterns for beginners! These patterns are simple, easy to follow, and work up FAST so you get almost instant gratification with seeing what you made. 




In The Kitchen

All of these patterns I have personally made myself, so I can assure you they are easy to follow and very simple! If you have ANY questions at all please leave a comment below, I'd love to help you! Here are some pictures of projects I've completed using these patterns.

Don't forget, some of these items can be found in my Etsy shop if you're not a crochet enthusiast but love the cute projects! I hope you all enjoy these patterns and don't forget to let me know what you think! I love to hear about what others are working on too so feel free to share (:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Free Patterns Anyone?!

So I planned on having that bag pattern ready for today, but it turns out that writing a pattern is harder than I thought! This is only my first time, so take it easy on me. (; I can assure you that as soon as my camera battery is charged I will have that pattern up for you in no time! Because lets face it, a pattern without pictures can get pretty boring!

So in order to spice things up a bit I'll leave you all with some links to some patterns I've been working on! I started 3 different projects in the past 3 days. (Now I think you get why I haven't finished that pattern!) So I have been busy!!

This easy wave pattern blanket is simple to understand and fun to do! Choose any colors you like, chain as wide as you want your blanket to be, and crochet away! (Check out this tutorial on changing color in a project)

This pattern is for that clutch I posted a picture of last time.
 I keep messing up on the ends somehow, so I've gotten frustrated and set it down for a bit. But I'm sure I'll be back at it tomorrow.

I stumbled upon this pattern on ravelry (if you haven't checked it out yet and you crochet/knit, you MUST!) while searching for a good trivet pattern. I'm using brown for the insides and pink for the middle. I'll either use white or brown for the trim, but I haven't gotten that far yet. (:

I tend to choose the color before the pattern. Mostly because I'm still new to this, and because I can't choose good color combos until they're right in front of my face! (Anyone else get a brain fart at the yarn store and can't remember what you wanted to get?)

So what about you? What comes first, the pattern or the yarn? Let me know in the comments below! (:
Also don't forget to check out my new Facebook Page! I've added some great new listings to my Etsy shop as well! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Recent Projects!

So I've been busy all this week trying to make my first pattern for you all, and I'm excited to say that it's almost done! I LOVE this bag, it's perfect for a laptop or books. Keep checking back for the pattern! Pretty sure I'll make one or two for my Etsy shop as well. These work up so fast!

Onto the fun part of the post, my projects! I've got plenty of pictures for you guys, so here we go!

 ^A fun multicolored hat
 ^These are newborn hats, I still have to make the ears for the lavender hat, and attach the brown ears.
^This is a headband/earwarmer. Its so soft and warm!
 ^This is the bag I'm working on for the new pattern! Not finished of course, but I've got to sew it together and add a grey handle.
 ^This is a clutch! I love the color combo and I'm thinking of adding a handle as well!
 ^Just your average hat
 This is a newborn baby girl headband. Eventually I'll make a flower for it, but it looks great on its own too.

^And of course I had to make another mug cozy! I love these things, and this one is such a fun color combo!

So there you have it. I'm pretty sure this is mostly all of the projects I'm working on at the moment. Most just need to be finished, but I just love to procrastinate on things like that, don't you?!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Things I Wish I Knew Sooner

Learning to crochet has been a process for me, and I've come a long way in a few short months. I still have a long way to go, but in the mean time, I figured if you've just been reading my blog and looking at all the pretty projects I'm doing, now YOU can make one all by yourself! Well, of course you'll have a little help from me, the tutorials I'm about to link you to, and the patterns. I'm always available if you're stuck on a project and need some help! Trust me, I've been there. (:

Tip #1   Patience!
Yup. The very first thing I learned when I began crocheting was that you need to develop a whole new sense of patience. Learning the stitches, trying to figure out how to hold your yarn and hook, and of course, unraveling (or "frogging") your project and starting over. Trust me, once you learn the stitches and how to hold your yarn and hook, it gets so much better. People stare at me because I crochet so fast now! I still frog MANY of my projects, so that I have yet to get over.

Tip #2   Loose!!
This is the second most important tip I've ever learned. Especially in the beginning, the looser you crochet, the EASIER it is! And I'm all about doing things the easy way, aren't you? Also to help aid in having you crochet looser, I recommend using a larger hook size. H, I or J is great (or anything above 5.00 MM). This makes your stitches bigger, therefore they're easier to see, which is extremely helpful when learning!

Tip #3   Light Yarn Color!
The lighter your yarn color, the easier it will be to see where you are sticking your hook. So for your first project, I don't recommend using black or something just as dark. (Unless you have one of these awesome hooks!)

Tip #4   Videos!
My mom tried to teach me how to crochet once, and if failed. I never picked it up again. You'd be surprised how helpful youtube videos can be! You can pause, rewind, and rewatch it as many times as you want! This was a savior when I was just starting out.

My favorite beginner patterns:

All of those require the use of simple stitches. Remember, youtube is your friend! I want to see what you come up with, no matter what it looks like!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Works In Progress

Hello there! So, have you been looking for some cool crochet projects? So have I! I've managed to start a few projects this week, and wanted to share with you all what I've been working on!

A lot of things arn't finished. They either need buttons, ends tied in, or I'm waiting on more yarn (aka: set it down and forgot about it). So these are NOT finished works, but you'll be surprised what a little bit of sprucing up can do to a WIP (Work In Progress).

(I was going to pause after every pic and explain what it is, but that would take way too long, I have too many things!)

 So what did you think? Can you guess what many of these are? Most likely. The first one is a panda, in case you were wondering. Like I said, don't judge me until you see the final product. (;

Michaels craft store is also having some awesome sales on yarn this week. Some of my favorites, Simply Soft, Sugar n Cream, Impeccable, ALL ON SALE! Sugar n Cream is 4 for $5. So naturally I had to get some!
And this is what my stash looks like after I bring home a bag full of yarn. Did I mention I'm going shopping again today? I can't stay away!

Have you been working on anything? It probably looks better than some of the stuff here, so don't be shy, post a pic! I want to see what you're making!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Crochet Bracelets?!

Check out my shop for my newest listing! This teal crochet bracelet. The button is my favorite part! The good news? I had 4 of these buttons, so three bracelets are for sale in my etsy shop! Grab em before they're gone!

 Don't you just LOVE the color? Or are you just obsessed with the button? I know, it's a hard choice. Truth is, this bracelet is so soft. I'm in love with how it feels. I'll probably be making a lot more of these so keep an eye out for different colors, textures, and buttons! Exciting, I know!

Monday, July 9, 2012

I'm now on Facebook!

So I've decided to go ahead and make a Facebook page for 'the hippy hooker'. Not that I don't have my own personal Facebook page, but it's just a place for me to share what I'm working on and quick pics of works in progress. A little 'behind the scenes' action if you will, since I'm always posting finished products on here.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

My Go To Yarn Brands

Honestly, when i started out crocheting, I never really thought about how many different types of yarn there is out there. Besides color, you have to take into consideration what its made out of. Wool, acrylic, chunky, sock yarn, it's all different. So when you're just starting out, don't worry about what type of yarn to get. If you get a different size than the pattern calls for, make it anyway, you might be pleasantly surprised with the result!

Walking into a craft store can be intimidating when you're first starting out. At least for me it was. You're familiar with the craft store, yes, but have you ever strayed near the yarn section before? If you're like me, the answer is no. So just get what speaks to YOU. Color, texture, whatever you think would look great for whatever you're going to make, get it. DON'T second guess yourself or you'll be there forever!

After I figured out what I like and don't like, the yarn section didn't seem so scary. I get SO excited thinking about going yarn shopping now. Mostly because I never know what I'll come home with. (;

So what are my personal favorites, you're asking? Ha, Okay. Well, as a beginner crocheter myself I'd have to say my yarn experience is limited to mainstream brands. Pretty much anything you can find in Michaels or Walmart. I have yet to work with the higher quality fibers but thats okay with me because I still make mistakes, and I'd rather not mess up something with $20 yarn! So if you're just starting out like me, take this into consideration. No, really!

My yarn choice mostly has to do with what I'm going to make. If I'm making a pot holder, dish towel, or wash cloth, I use Sugar and Cream. Its 100% cotton and it is SO soft and really absorbent. These are some of the best dish cloths I have. They hold up so well! 

 I have yet to try other brands of cotton, but I plan to once i get bored with these colors! (;

Simply Soft yarn from Caron is another favorite of mine. I use it for some crochet bracelets in my etsy shop and it would also be great for hats, bags, or a clutch. As the name states, it is super soft, that makes it perfect for babies heads and clothes!

Red Heart Super Saver is the ultimate cheapie yarn. It may be cheap, but it holds up fairly well and although it isnt amazingly soft, it works great for almost any project you have in mind. If you're just starting out and only want to get 1 or 2 skeins of yarn, I'd go with this brand or Sugar and Cream.

I've aimed to try many different brands and types of yarn, and so everything besides those 3 i listed above are really just whatever i feel like getting that day. (that's the fun of yarn shopping, being spontaneous!) I have tried other brands like Vanna's Choice, Impeccable, Lion Brand, and Loops and Threads. All of those are great choices too. I just picked up a bunch of new yarn too, so keep an eye out for whats coming up!

All of the brands above also have some amazing patterns on their site. Red Heart, Sugar and Cream, and Lion Brand are worth checking out.

Are you on pinterest? I've been addicted ever since i created my account last summer. So it was only natural of me to create a pinboard for my crochet patterns! 
Follow me there to keep up on what is on my to do list! I also have awesome pinboards for other crafts, organizing ideas, home decor, and style. There's some great stuff on there so if you haven't checked it out already you should!!